Rivian laying off 6% of its workforce as EV manufacturer aims to cut costs
Published in Automotive News
Startup electric truck manufacturer Rivian said Wednesday it is laying off 6% of its workforce, including a small number of nonmanufacturing employees at its downstate Normal assembly plant.
California-based Rivian has about 7,000 employees at its assembly plant and 14,000 across the company, meaning about 840 total positions are being eliminated. The company did not disclose the number of employees being laid off at the plant, but the restructuring “doesn’t impact manufacturing jobs in Normal,” Rivian CEO and founder R.J. Scaringe said in an email to employees.
Employees are being notified and the layoffs are effective immediately, the company said.
“Team changes are among the hardest decisions we make as an organization,” Scaringe said in the email. “Today is a hard day.”
Rivian launched production at the converted Mitsubishi plant in September 2021 but has struggled to meet growing demand. The company produced 24,337 vehicles last year, missing a downwardly revised production target of 25,000. The facility has two shifts and an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles. Rivian had 114,000 R1T pickup trucks and R1S SUVs on back order as of November, the company said.
The company is also building 100,000 electric delivery vans at the Normal plant for Amazon, an early Rivian investor.
Rivian is building a second $5 billion assembly plant in Georgia, which is slated to produce its next-generation EV on the smaller R2 platform beginning in 2026.
In July, Rivian implemented a similar downsizing, cutting 6% of its workforce, including about 50 nonmanufacturing jobs in Normal. At the time, Scaringe cited inflation, tighter capital markets and the need to preserve cash.
On Wednesday, Scaringe said ramping up production is job one at Rivian but cutting costs remains a high priority.
“Continuing to improve our operating efficiency on our path to profitability is a core objective and requires us to concentrate our investments and resources on the highest impact parts of our business,” Scaringe said.
The company had a net loss of more than $1.7 billion in the third quarter, with $13.8 billion of cash remaining. Rivian plans to release fourth quarter and full-year earnings Feb. 28.
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